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The Life of Jesus (1997)

La vie de Jésus (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 4 June 1997 (France)
A social movie about current life in the north of France. Freddy and his friends are all unemployed. They pass away time by wandering around on their motorcycles and by directing their ... See full summary »


Bruno Dumont


Bruno Dumont (scenario)
14 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


Credited cast:
David Douche ... Freddy
Marjorie Cottreel ... Marie
Kader Chaatouf Kader Chaatouf ... Kader
Sébastien Delbaere Sébastien Delbaere ... Gégé
Samuel Boidin Samuel Boidin ... Michou
Steve Smagghe Steve Smagghe ... Robert
Sébastien Bailleul Sébastien Bailleul ... Quinquin
Geneviève Cottreel Geneviève Cottreel ... Yvette - la mère de Freddy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Suzanne Berteloot Suzanne Berteloot ... L'infirmière (as Suzanne Bertelot)
Hélène Blaevoet Hélène Blaevoet ... La collègue de Marie
Madame Chaatouf Madame Chaatouf ... La mère de Kader
Monsieur Chaatouf Monsieur Chaatouf ... Le père de Kader
Harmonie de Bailleul Harmonie de Bailleul ... Eux-mêmes
Melinda Deseure Melinda Deseure ... La chef des majorettes
Francis Desure Francis Desure ... Le policier avec Freddy
Learn more

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A social movie about current life in the north of France. Freddy and his friends are all unemployed. They pass away time by wandering around on their motorcycles and by directing their aggressive feelings towards Arab immigrants. Freddy is in love with Marie, a cashier at a local supermarket. When she is proposed to by Kader, a young Arab man, Freddy and his friends have an idea: they decide to punish Kader for what they call "such a provocation." After they have raped another girl, Marie finally commits to Kader, which seals his fate. Written by Philippe Petit <Philippe.Petit@pobox.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


First film of Bruno Dumont. See more »

User Reviews

Ennui in Flanders
14 February 2002 | by jandesimpsonSee all my reviews

There is enormous promise in the opening scenes of Bruno Dumont's first feature "La Vie de Jesus". He is clearly a director with a great feeling for landscape, that ability to draw the viewer into a self-contained world, in this case an agricultural area of Northern France. Within minutes we know what it is like to live in this small redbrick town bounded by seemingly endless lanes and fields where very little happens and even the local cafe is all but deserted on a weekday mid-afternoon. We share the stifling boredom of the group of unemployed youths with little do except joyride their mopeds. We are in a world akin to that of Bresson's "Au Hazard Balthazar" and "Mouchettte" with Dumont revealing his with the assured unflinching vision of the master himself. Already we are beginning to sense the thrill that comes with the intuition that we may be discovering a major new talent. A brilliantly observed scene where the group of friends visit the brother of one of them who is in a coma dying of AIDS seems to confirm this. Words cannot convey their feeling but expressions say everything. However after this doubts gradually creep in. It requires real genius to sustain viewer interest in a film about provincial ennui. Not that nothing happens. There is an attack on an Arab youth that results in manslaughter, an arrest and an escape. The problem is not a lack of psychological development. There is an inevitability about the main protagonist, Freddy's obsession with the only girl around and his gunning for the Arab as a result of sexual rivalry fuelled by group racism. Rather is the problem one of a lack of narrative development. One sequence of moped riding becomes just like any other as do all those scenes of young people just moping around. Unfortunately the film eventually evokes viewer tedium in a way that is self defeating. Nevertheless there is excitement in the discovery of a new directorial talent and the prediction that he could in time make a really outstanding film.

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French | Arabic

Release Date:

4 June 1997 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life of Jesus See more »

Filming Locations:

Nord, France See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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